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Artikel Tagged ‘Zivilgesellschaft’

Agents of Change

16. August 2009

Letzte Woche Mittwoch verlieh Barack Obama mehreren "agents of change", wie sein Pressesprecher Robert Gibbs später sagte, die amerikanische Freiheitsmedaille. Zu den Ausgezeichneten gehören ein mit Federn und akademischen Meriten geschmückter Indianer, Jim Crow, Stephen Hawking, Muhammad Yunus und der einstige Stadtrat von San Francisco Harvey Milk. Nicht erst seit Sean Penn ihn so wunderbar gespielt hat, weiß man auch in Europa, wer das war.

His name was Harvey Milk, and he was here to recruit us — all of us — to join a movement and change a nation. For much of his early life, he had silenced himself. In the prime of his life, he was silenced by the act of another. But in the brief time in which he spoke — and ran and led — his voice stirred the aspirations of millions of people. He would become, after several attempts, one of the first openly gay Americans elected to public office. And his message of hope — hope unashamed, hope unafraid — could not ever be silenced. It was Harvey who said it best: "You gotta give ‘em hope."

Ich versuche mir vorzustellen, wie eine ähnliche Situation im Bundeskanzleramt aussehen könnte. Die Auswahl der Namen ist alles andere als willkürlich. Denken wir an Regine Hildebrandt, Rosa von Praunheim, Martin Dannecker, Klaus Lukas oder Albert Eckert. Oder an den deutsch-ägyptischen Geburtshelfer und Gynäkologen Tarek Meguid, der in Malawi in fast auswegloser Lage sich dafür engagiert, das Gesundheitswesen zu reformieren und dafür ein Modell erfunden hat, das fast alle von Abwanderungsverlusten qualifizierter Gesundheitsarbeiter geplagten Länder kopieren könnten.

Mir fallen gewiss noch mehr Namen ein. Das spielt jetzt keine Rolle. Es ist eine Frage der symbolischen Kommunikation. Für solche symbolischen Gesten ist die Kultur unseres Landes, um dafür ein Schweizer Wort zu gebrauchen, immer noch viel zu verharzt.

 

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We Know These Things

18. Juli 2009

Diese Rede zeigt Barack Obama als den großen Redner unserer Zeit. Donnerstagabend knüpft er in New York bei der Festveranstaltung zum 100. Geburtstag der NAACP an seine große Rede vom 18. März 2008 in Philadelphia an und nimmt sein Publikum mit auf eine historische Reise. Sie führt zurück in die Frühgeschichte der Bürgerrechtsbewegung, illuminiert den Wandel, den das Land seither erlebt hat – und vor dem es heute steht.

Die Rede erinnert an den Protest gegen das Lynchen, an das Engagement gegen Gewalt, an die Frauen, die es vorzogen, zu Fuß zu laufen, statt den Bus zu nehmen, an die Freedom Rides mit den Greyhounds, deren Aktivisten prüften, ob das Urteil des Obersten Bundesgerichts gegen die Rassentrennung umgesetzt wurde. Obama erinnert an die Bürgerrechtler, die ihr Leben dafür riskierten, dass sie im ländlichen Mississippi Wähler registrierten. Wir kennen den Film, der davon erzählt.

Der Präsident stellt sich in ihre Tradition, als er an die eigene Reise erinnert, die ihn von Springfield, Illinois, schließlich ins Weiße Haus geführt hat. Ihnen verdanke er es, dass er an diesem Abend rede – auf den Schultern von Giganten.

Afroamerikaner seien häufiger arbeitslos. Viele seien nicht krankenversichert. Ein schwarzes Kind habe fünffach höhere Chancen als ein weißes Kind, ein Gefängnis von innen zu sehen. HIV/AIDS treffe die Afroamerikaner besonders hart. "We know these things."

Bleiben wir für einen Moment der Besinnung bei diesem Satz. So beiläufig er klingt, so tief ist seine Resonanz. Wir kennen das. Wir kennen diese Sachen. Zu oft gehört und gesehen. Oder weggehört und weggesehen. Lassen Sie uns in Ruhe damit. Da kommen wir der Sache näher. We know these things. Wie unerträglich das ist! Das ist ein Satz aus der Tiefe einer Wunde, die sich so schnell nicht schließt.

Es sei der gleiche Mut erforderlich, der die Segregation überwunden habe, um die heutigen Barrieren zu beseitigen, das gleiche Engagement, die gleiche Opferbereitschaft.  Welche Schritte aber seien erforderlich, um die Barrieren zu überwinden? Mit dieser Frage ist Obama auf seiner Reise bei der eigenen Innenpolitik angekommen, sucht den Schulterschluss mit der schwarzen Bürgerrechtsorganisation. "That’s why my administration is working so hard not only to create and save jobs in the short-term, not only to extend unemployment insurance and help for people who have lost their health care in this crisis, not just to stem the immediate economic wreckage, but to lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity that will put opportunity within the reach of not just African Americans, but all Americans.  All Americans.  (Applause.)  Of every race.  Of every creed.  From every region of the country.  (Applause.)  We want everybody to participate in the American Dream.  That’s what the NAACP is all about."

Bezahlbare Krankenversicherung für alle, die windschiefen Häuser der Armen wetterfest machen, Jobs, die nicht nach Übersee gehen, Verbraucherschutz gegen betrügerische Finanzberatung – all das sei nötig, aber reiche nicht aus, um die Afroamerikaner und Amerika insgesamt nach vorne zu bringen, solange die Ausbildung der amerikanischen Kinder nicht dramatisch besser werde. "There’s no two ways about it. There’s no way to avoid it. You know what I’m talking about. There’s a reason the story of the civil rights movement was written in our schools. There’s a reason Thurgood Marshall took up the cause of Linda Brown.  There’s a reason why the Little Rock Nine defied a governor and a mob.  It’s because there is no stronger weapon against inequality and no better path to opportunity than an education that can unlock a child’s God-given potential. (…) African American students are lagging behind white classmates in reading and math — an achievement gap that is growing in states that once led the way in the civil rights movement.  Over half of all African American students are dropping out of school in some places.  There are overcrowded classrooms, and crumbling schools, and corridors of shame in America filled with poor children — not just black children, brown and white children as well. The state of our schools is not an African American problem; it is an American problem."

Willy Brandts Satz aus seiner Regierungserklärung 1969 kommt in Erinnerung, als er sagte: "Die Schule der Nation ist die Schule." (Kurt Georg Kiesinger hatte mal gesagt, die Bundeswehr sei Schule der Nation.) Es ist kein Zufall, dass Obama bei der NAACP so eindringlich auf die Schulabbrecher eingeht. Ähnlich argumentierte er vor ein paar Monaten bei einer anderen großen Rede vor den Latinos Amerikas. Er redet vor ehrgeizigen engagierten Eltern. Er führt ihnen vor Augen, was zerkrümelt, wenn sie sich nicht selber darum kümmern: die Hoffnung, die sie in ihre eigenen Kinder setzen.

Ich habe das Zitat für diese kurze Zwischenüberlegung unterbrochen. Nun setzen wir es fort – und es lohnt sich, diese Passage im Video anzusehen, um zu ermessen, was Obama da auslöst. "Because if black and brown children cannot compete, then America cannot compete.  (Applause.)  And let me say this, if Al Sharpton, Mike Bloomberg, and Newt Gingrich can agree that we need to solve the education problem, then that’s something all of America can agree we can solve.  (Applause.)  Those guys came into my office.  (Laughter.) Just sitting in the Oval Office — I kept on doing a double-take.  (Laughter and applause.)  So that’s a sign of progress and it is a sign of the urgency of the education problem.  (Applause.)  All of us can agree that we need to offer every child in this country — every child —  AUDIENCE:  Amen! (…) THE PRESIDENT:  Got an "Amen corner" back there — (applause) — every child — every child in this country the best education the world has to offer from cradle through a career."

Amen! Die schönsten Programme aber sind für die Katz, wenn Eltern sich nicht um ihre Kinder kümmern.

"We’ve got to say to our children, yes, if you’re African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher.  Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that somebody in a wealthy suburb does not have to face.  But that’s not a reason to get bad grades — (applause) — that’s not a reason to cut class — (applause) — that’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school.  (Applause.)  No one has written your destiny for you.  Your destiny is in your hands — you cannot forget that.  That’s what we have to teach all of our children.  No excuses.  (Applause.)  No excuses."

Kümmert euch auch um die Kinder eurer Nachbarn. Setzt euch höhere Ziele. Basketball und Rap sind nicht alles. Warum wollen eure Kinder nicht Naturwissenschaftler, Ärzte, Ingenieure werden? Oder Oberster Bundesrichter? Oder Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika? "Yes, government must be a force for opportunity.  Yes, government must be a force for equality.  But ultimately, if we are to be true to our past, then we also have to seize our own future, each and every day."

Obama kehrt zurück zu jenen Tagen, in denen er als community organizer im Süden Chicagos Klinken putzte, an die Schulkinder und das Leuchten in ihren Augen, an deren Schulleiterin, die ihm sagte "that soon, the laughter in their eyes would begin to fade; that soon, something would shut off inside, as it sunk in — because kids are smarter than we give them credit for — as it sunk in that their hopes would not come to pass — not because they weren’t smart enough, not because they weren’t talented enough, not because of anything about them inherently, but because, by accident of birth, they had not received a fair chance in life. I know what can happen to a child who doesn’t have that chance."

Wir erinnern uns an diesen schönen Satz von Franz Kafka in den Briefen an Milena: "Kinder sind ernst und kennen keine Unmöglichkeit." Kafka kommt auf den Satz, als er bei einem Spaziergang durch den Park einen Vater mit seinem kleinen Kind spielen sieht, der spielerisch droht, das Kind ins Wasser zu werfen, die Angstlust des Kindes. Obamas Erfahrung aus dem Süden Chicagos ist auch uns nicht fremd. Die Segregation von Chancen und Nachteilen funktioniert auch ohne Gesetze.

Obamas rednerische Reise nähert sich ihrem Finale, einer verschmelzenden Apotheose des afroamerikanischen Leidens und des amerikanischen Traums. "And we will move forward.  This I know — for I know how far we have come.  Some, you saw, last week in Ghana, Michelle and I took Malia and Sasha and my mother-in-law to Cape Coast Castle, in Ghana.  Some of you may have been there.  This is where captives were once imprisoned before being auctioned; where, across an ocean, so much of the African American experience began. (…)  We went down into the dungeons where the captives were held.  There was a church above one of the dungeons — which tells you something about saying one thing and doing another.  (Applause.)  I was — we walked through the "Door Of No Return."  I was reminded of all the pain and all the hardships, all the injustices and all the indignities on the voyage from slavery to freedom. (…) But I was reminded of something else.  I was reminded that no matter how bitter the rod, how stony the road, we have always persevered.  (Applause.)  We have not faltered, nor have we grown weary.  As Americans, we have demanded, and strived for, and shaped a better destiny.  And that is what we are called on to do once more.  NAACP, it will not be easy.  It will take time.  Doubts may rise and hopes may recede. (…) But if John Lewis could brave Billy clubs to cross a bridge — (applause) — then I know young people today can do their part and lift up our community.  (Applause.) (…) If Emmet Till’s uncle, Mose Wright, could summon the courage to testify against the men who killed his nephew, I know we can be better fathers and better brothers and better mothers and sisters in our own families.  (Applause.) (…) If three civil rights workers in Mississippi — black, white, Christian and Jew, city-born and country-bred — could lay down their lives in freedom’s cause, I know we can come together to face down the challenges of our own time.   (Applause.)  We can fix our schools — (applause) — we can heal our sick, we can rescue our youth from violence and despair.  (Applause.) (…)   And 100 years from now, on the 200th anniversary of the NAACP — (applause) — let it be said that this generation did its part; that we too ran the race; that full of faith that our dark past has taught us, full of the hope that the present has brought us — (applause) — we faced, in our lives and all across this nation, the rising sun of a new day begun.  (Applause.) (…) Thank you,  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)"

Der Prediger stellt sich in eine Tradition, die sein Publikum von den Stühlen reißt, – ran the race, full of faith – eine Akklamation des zivilen Selbstvertrauens, in welchem die Bürgerrechtler von einst und heute für den neuen Tag kämpfen, the rising sun of a new day.

We know these things. In den Schmerz offener Wunden sät Obama die Hoffnung auf die Neue Welt.

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Kairo 04.06.09

4. Juni 2009

Das bleibt eine Ausnahme, hat den Vorteil, den Kommentar und die Analyse in den Text einzuarbeiten. Unten also der Wortlaut der Rede von Barack Obama in der Al Azhar Universität von Kairo.

Der Ort hätte nicht besser gewählt sein können. Die Al Azhar Universität ist die ehrwürdigste Universität der islamischen Welt. Ich hatte ja zuerst vermutet, Obama ginge in die Amerikanische Universität, weil er als Absender seiner Botschaft dort präziser verortet gewesen wäre. Aber er ging als Botschafter seiner selbst auf das ehrwürdige Terrain der Umma selbst. Die Ehrwürdigkeit können wir aus europäischer Perspektive mit einem Fragezeichen versehen. Waren es nicht die dortigen Schriftgelehrten, die den Islamwissenschaftler Nasr  Hamid Abu Zaid  verstießen, die Scheidung von seiner Frau erzwangen und ihn ins Exil trieben? Aber das kümmert den amerikanischen Präsidenten erst einmal nicht. Er trägt eine Botschaft zurück an den Ort ihrer Entstehung, darin liegt das politische (und rhetorische) Geheimnis dieser Rede. Sie ist eine Tarnkappenpredigt, stealth rhetoric mit zeitverzögerter Wirkung. Ob und wo die Saat aufgeht, bleibt abzuwarten.

I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo (Waren Sie mal im August in dieser Stadt? Dann schmilzt die Zeit wie Blei und man klebt fest. Die Straßenkehrer fegen die Autobahn. Das machen sie immer. Die Fassaden der Wohnblocks atmen Finsternis. Timeless? Von der Zeit verschlungen und wieder ausgespuckt!) and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning, and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement. Together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I am grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. I am also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: assalaamu alaykum. (Friede sei mit Euch)

We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims (das ist eine dieser vorsätzlichen Ungenauigkeiten in der Rede, die ein Flirren vor den Augen auslöst, eine optische und semantische Täuschung, das ist eines der Realitätspartikelchen oder Häutchen, wie Lukrez sie genannt hat, das ist ein Teil der Tarnkappe in der Rede: in welcher Kommunikationsbeziehung steht ein Subjekt des Völkerrechts wie die USA zu einer weltweiten überaus differenzierten Glaubensgemeinschaft?) around the world – tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam. (Der Erzähler nimmt den griot der arabisch-muslimischen Selbstverachtung auf: dieses Amalgam historisch überlieferter Überlegenheit – al-andalus – und der bleiernen Zeit von Jahrhunderten des Stillstands)

Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust. (Über diese Zeilen wird die amerikanische Rechte wieder schäumen)

So long as our relationship (welcher Natur ist diese Beziehung zwischen einem Staat und einer Glaubensgemeinschaft?) is defined by our differences (was sind das für Unterschiede?), we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.

I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect (worin bestehen die gemeinsamen Interessen der USA mit Christen oder Juden oder Buddhisten?) and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. (wo befinden sie sich im Wettbewerb?) Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. No single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have all the complex questions that brought us to this point. But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly the things we hold in our hearts, and that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth." That is what I will try to do – to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart. (Dieser Absatz zielt ins gläubige Herz der Umma. Nur fragt sich jeder Islamwissenschaftler, der einer historischen philologischen Textexegese den Vorzug gegenüber einer Idee der göttlichen Offenbarung durch den Propheten gibt, was für ein substantialistisches Verhältnis der Staatsmann und Politiker Barack Hussein Obama zum Heiligen Koran hat. Hätte es auch gereicht, vom Koran zu sprechen? An dieser Stelle ist Herr Obama seinem Vorgänger erstaunlich ähnlich)

Part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith. (Das ist der O-Ton des Markenzeichens Obama; da ertönt seine eigene prophetische Stimme)

As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality. (Wer wollte das bestreiten! Wäre dieser Historisierung der Blüte bloß auch eine Historisierung ihres Niedergangs gefolgt, könnten wir uns gemeinsam aus dem Staub der historischen Niedertracht wieder erheben. Kein arabischer Potentat versäumt es, auf die Geschichte hinzuweisen und seltsame Ausstellungen zu finanzieren – das alles aber ist jenseits von Sein und Zeit)

I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims." And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our Universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library. (Geteilte Geschichte wird anschaulich)

So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. (Der Ton der Offenbarung … warum gibt es in dieser Rede nicht den kleinsten Hinweis auf die Chancen einer Entmythologisierung des Islam in einer Bultmannschen Tradition? ) That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. (Und was ist der Islam? Wer definiert ihn? Wer definiert, was er nicht ist?) And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.(Bekämpft er auch positive Stereotype? Oder spricht er aus der viel profunderen Tradition der Gleichheit der Menschen vor dem Gesetz? Das sollte der Verfassungsrechtler dann aber auch sagen!)

But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America. (Hier wird es bei allem Respekt vor der Idee zu dieser Rede vollkommen suspekt. Über welchen Kamm schert Obama hier die Wahrnehmung Amerikas bei Muslimen? Die Vielfalt und Ambivalenz ist mindestens so groß wie die amerikanische selbst …) Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire. The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known. We were born out of revolution against an empire. We were founded upon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed blood and struggled for centuries to give meaning to those words – within our borders, and around the world. We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum: "Out of many, one." (Ihr Amerikaner habt der Welt eine Idee gegeben, die sie bis heute nicht verdaut hat, schon gar nicht wahrgenommen und zu eigen gemacht – das betrifft trotz mancher amerikanischer Universitäten zwischen Beirut, Kairo und den Golfstaaten vor allem die gesamte arabische Welt!)

Much has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President. But my personal story is not so unique. The dream of opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores – that includes nearly seven million American Muslims in our country today who enjoy incomes and education that are higher than average. (um eine misslungene Formulierung von George W. Bush zu paraphrasieren: don´t misoverestimate yourself, Mr. President!)

Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one’s religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state of our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That is why the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it.

So let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America. And I believe that America holds within her the truth that regardless of race, religion, or station in life, all of us share common aspirations – to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with dignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God. These things we share. This is the hope of all humanity. (Don´t forget mum´s plumpudding, beside of our God. Wer ist denn das?)

Of course, recognizing our common humanity is only the beginning of our task. (Das ist der erste Zielsatz, den er in die vom Hass entstellte Welt setzt!)  Words alone cannot meet the needs of our people. These needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and our failure to meet them will hurt us all.

For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. When violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountains, people are endangered across an ocean. And when innocents in Bosnia and Darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective conscience. That is what it means to share this world in the 21st century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.(Dieser Absatz zeugt von der politischen Würde Amerikas!)

This is a difficult responsibility to embrace. For human history has often been a record of nations and tribes subjugating one another to serve their own interests. Yet in this new age, such attitudes are self-defeating. Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners of it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership; progress must be shared. (So gewinnt Freiheit ihr historisches Gesicht und Gewicht: Lasst uns nicht zum Gefangenen unserer Vergangenheit werden. Wir können sie nicht abstreifen, dürfen uns aber auch nicht von ihr einkerkern lassen. Wie wirkte so ein Satz, wenn Angela Merkel ihn ausspräche? Wäre das Revisionismus, selbst erteilter Ablass historischer Schuld?)

That does not mean we should ignore sources of tension. Indeed, it suggests the opposite: we must face these tensions squarely. And so in that spirit, let me speak as clearly and plainly as I can about some specific issues that I believe we must finally confront together. (Weil es so ist, dass die Vergangenheit uns verfolgt, können wir den auf uns gekommenen Spannungen standhalten und sie eines Tages überwinden. Jetzt adressiert Obama die politische Agenda seiner Rede. Bis dahin festigte sie den gemeinsamen Boden unter den Füßen.)

The first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms.

In Ankara, I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security. Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as President to protect the American people.

The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America’s goals, and our need to work together. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al Qaeda and the Taliban with broad international support. We did not go by choice, we went because of necessity. I am aware that some question or justify the events of 9/11. But let us be clear: al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet Al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with. (Das Ziel ist benannt: die Bedrohung zu beenden, wie auch immer!)

Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there. It is agonizing for America to lose our young men and women. It is costly and politically difficult to continue this conflict. We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. But that is not yet the case.

That’s why we’re partnering with a coalition of forty-six countries. And despite the costs involved, America’s commitment will not weaken. Indeed, none of us should tolerate these extremists. They have killed in many countries. They have killed people of different faiths – more than any other, they have killed Muslims. Their actions are irreconcilable with the rights of human beings, the progress of nations, and with Islam. The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind. The enduring faith of over a billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace. (Das ist der zweite Zielsatz der Rede: Ihr seid nicht Täter. Ihr seid selbst Opfer, in weit höherem Maße als wir Amerikaner. Versuchen Sie mal in Neukölln, einem nett aussehenden jungen Mann gleich welcher Herkunft zu sagen, er sei Opfer … Aber das ist ein anderes Kapitel …)

We also know that military power alone is not going to solve the problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That is why we plan to invest $1.5 billion each year over the next five years to partner with Pakistanis to build schools and hospitals, roads and businesses, and hundreds of millions to help those who have been displaced. And that is why we are providing more than $2.8 billion to help Afghans develop their economy and deliver services that people depend upon. (Hier hätte Ben Rhodes ein bisschen tiefer in Details eintauchen können. In der Piasterökonomie Ägyptens sind die amerikanischen Milliarden unbegreiflich. was aber ein Brunnen ist, wie ein Ochse arbeitet, was ein Mikrokredit bewirkt, das machte anschaulicher, wie sich Amerika um den Aufbau einer Zivilgesellschaft bemüht)

Let me also address the issue of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. (Hier toben wieder die amerikanischen Rechten.) Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: "I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be." (Dieses Jefferson-Zitat belegt im übrigen, wie sehr sich diese Rede auch an die amerikanische Heimatfront richtet. Der Verfassungsrechtler wird nicht müde, das Vermächtnis der amerikanischen Gründungsväter mit neuem Leben zu erfüllen, sie als Zeugen an seine Seite zu holen)

Today, America has a dual responsibility: to help Iraq forge a better future – and to leave Iraq to Iraqis. I have made it clear to the Iraqi people that we pursue no bases, and no claim on their territory or resources. Iraq’s sovereignty is its own. That is why I ordered the removal of our combat brigades by next August. That is why we will honor our agreement with Iraq’s democratically-elected government to remove combat troops from Iraqi cities by July, and to remove all our troops from Iraq by 2012. We will help Iraq train its Security Forces and develop its economy. But we will support a secure and united Iraq as a partner, and never as a patron.

And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year. (Newt Gingrich, Limbaugh, Cheney et alii schäumen: Amerikaner fürchten sich nicht)

So America will defend itself respectful of the sovereignty of nations and the rule of law. And we will do so in partnership with Muslim communities which are also threatened. The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer.

The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.

America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.

Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction – or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews – is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve. (Bedeutet dieser Absatz, dass Amerika die Kandidatur von Faruk Hosni für den Posten des UNESCO-Generaldirektors nicht unterstützen wird?)

On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.

For decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It is easy to point fingers – for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel’s founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.

That is in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest, and the world’s interest. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience that the task requires. The obligations that the parties have agreed to under the Road Map are clear. For peace to come, it is time for them – and all of us – to live up to our responsibilities.

Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It’s a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered. (Eine starke Passage, deren Appell ihr Publikum bei beiden Seiten nicht verfehlen wird!)

Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of its people. Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, and to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist. (Dann regiert mal schön! Aber bitte schön! Und nicht mit Lynchjustiz!)

At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. (Wie oft wurde das gesagt: Welche Instrumente haben die Amerikaner, dieses Ziel durchzusetzen?)

Israel must also live up to its obligations to ensure that Palestinians can live, and work, and develop their society. And just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel’s security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.

Finally, the Arab States must recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities. The Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems. Instead, it must be a cause for action to help the Palestinian people develop the institutions that will sustain their state; to recognize Israel’s legitimacy; and to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past. (Hier liegt der politische Pudel der arabischen Politik begraben. Diese Passage schmeckt den arabischen Politikern überhaupt nicht. Sie winken immer mit dem Beelzebub, wenn ihnen nichts mehr einfällt. Die Brotunruhen in Algerien waren das Vorbild für Hamas)

America will align our policies with those who pursue peace, and say in public what we say in private to Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs. We cannot impose peace. But privately, many Muslims recognize that Israel will not go away. Likewise, many Israelis recognize the need for a Palestinian state. It is time for us to act on what everyone knows to be true.

Too many tears have flowed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer. (Diese Passage dokumentiert, wie aufmerksam Obama den rhetorischen Duktus arabisch-muslimischer Traditionen aufgenommen und adaptiert hat)

The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons.

This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is indeed a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government. (Ein Aufschrei bei Fox News) Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. (Vergesst nicht Carters Desaster der missglückten Geiselbefreiung!) This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I have made it clear to Iran’s leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question, now, is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build.

It will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect. But it is clear to all concerned that when it comes to nuclear weapons, we have reached a decisive point. This is not simply about America’s interests. It is about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.

I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation – including Iran – should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.

The fourth issue that I will address is democracy. (Vergessen wir nicht die unselige Greater Middle East Initiative von George W. Bush und den Neocons. Kräht da heute noch ein Hahn nach?)

I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.

That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere. (Darüber freuen sich die meisten Zuhörer in der arabischen Welt. Weil diese Rechte in den meisten Ländern mit den Füßen getreten werden)

There is no straight line to realize this promise. But this much is clear: governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments – provided they govern with respect for all their people.

This last point is important because there are some who advocate for democracy only when they are out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others. No matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.

The fifth issue that we must address together is religious freedom.

Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition. I saw it firsthand as a child in Indonesia, where devout Christians worshiped freely in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. That is the spirit we need today. People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul. This tolerance is essential for religion to thrive, but it is being challenged in many different ways.

Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld – whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. And fault lines must be closed among Muslims as well, as the divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence, particularly in Iraq.

Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.

Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit – for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We cannot disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism. (Diese Passage sollte Herr Obama mal in Frankreich vortragen – oder in Innenminister Schäubles Islamkonferenz.)

Indeed, faith should bring us together. That is why we are forging service projects in America that bring together Christians, Muslims, and Jews. That is why we welcome efforts like Saudi Arabian King Abdullah’s Interfaith dialogue and Turkey’s leadership in the Alliance of Civilizations. Around the world, we can turn dialogue into Interfaith service, so bridges between peoples lead to action – whether it is combating malaria in Africa, or providing relief after a natural disaster.

The sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights.

I know there is debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous. (Das ist die kulturelle Kampfansage an die Taliban und die Warlords in Afghanistan – und der dritte Zielsatz mit der größten Aussicht darauf, viele Verbündete zu gewinnen)

Now let me be clear: issues of women’s equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.

Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity – men and women – to reach their full potential. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams.

Finally, I want to discuss economic development and opportunity.

I know that for many, the face of globalization is contradictory. The Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but also offensive sexuality and mindless violence. Trade can bring new wealth and opportunities, but also huge disruptions and changing communities. In all nations – including my own – this change can bring fear. Fear that because of modernity we will lose of control over our economic choices, our politics, and most importantly our identities – those things we most cherish about our communities, our families, our traditions, and our faith.

But I also know that human progress cannot be denied. There need not be contradiction between development and tradition. Countries like Japan and South Korea grew their economies while maintaining distinct cultures. The same is true for the astonishing progress within Muslim-majority countries from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai. In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.

This is important because no development strategy can be based only upon what comes out of the ground, nor can it be sustained while young people are out of work. Many Gulf States have enjoyed great wealth as a consequence of oil, and some are beginning to focus it on broader development. But all of us must recognize that education and innovation will be the currency of the 21st century, and in too many Muslim communities there remains underinvestment in these areas. I am emphasizing such investments within my country. And while America in the past has focused on oil and gas in this part of the world, we now seek a broader engagement. (Damit wird Barack Obama auch in der muslimischen Welt der Präsident der Herzen!)

On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America, while encouraging more Americans to study in Muslim communities. And we will match promising Muslim students with internships in America; invest in on-line learning for teachers and children around the world; and create a new online network, so a teenager in Kansas can communicate instantly with a teenager in Cairo.

On economic development, we will create a new corps of business volunteers to partner with counterparts in Muslim-majority countries. And I will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship this year to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.

On science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries, and to help transfer ideas to the marketplace so they can create jobs. We will open centers of scientific excellence in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and appoint new Science Envoys to collaborate on programs that develop new sources of energy, create green jobs, digitize records, clean water, and grow new crops. And today I am announcing a new global effort with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio. And we will also expand partnerships with Muslim communities to promote child and maternal health.

All these things must be done in partnership. Americans are ready to join with citizens and governments; community organizations, religious leaders, and businesses in Muslim communities around the world to help our people pursue a better life.

The issues that I have described will not be easy to address. But we have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world we seek – a world where extremists no longer threaten our people, and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis and Palestinians are each secure in a state of their own, and nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes; a world where governments serve their citizens, and the rights of all God’s children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the world we seek. But we can only achieve it together.

I know there are many – Muslim and non-Muslim – who question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress. Some suggest that it isn’t worth the effort – that we are fated to disagree, and civilizations are doomed to clash. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur. There is so much fear, so much mistrust. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward. And I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith, in every country – you, more than anyone, have the ability to remake this world. (Hier wendet sich Obama direkt an die Zielgruppe, die ihn zum internationalen politischen Popstar gemacht hat. Schmeißt ihr euch weg oder geht ihr ran an die vor euch liegenden Aufgaben? Wer wollte euch aufhalten!)

All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort – a sustained effort – to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.

It is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward; to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There is also one rule that lies at the heart of every religion – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This truth transcends nations and peoples – a belief that isn’t new; that isn’t black or white or brown; that isn’t Christian, or Muslim or Jew. It’s a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the heart of billions. It’s a faith in other people, and it’s what brought me here today.

We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.

The Holy Koran tells us, "O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another."

The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace."

The Holy Bible tells us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God’s vision. Now, that must be our work here on Earth. Thank you. And may God’s peace be upon you.

Kommen wir zu einem vorläufigen Fazit. Die religiöse Grundierung ist an diesem Ort,  zu diesem Zeitpunkt, zu diesem Thema und für dieses Publikum unvermeidlich. Obama verknüpft sie mit einem zivilreligiösen Bekenntnis in der Tradition der amerikanischen Gründungsväter. Er entzündet ansteckende Ideen und findet damit Verbündete.

Die Rede mag unvollkommen sein. Wäre sie vollkommen gewesen, fände sie nicht ihren Weg in die Herzen und Köpfe der Menschen. Dort aber arbeitet sie weiter. Das ist ihr glühender Funke.

Er verbreitet sich von alleine weiter.

 

 

 

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Town Hall Goes Berlin

13. Mai 2009

Das war fällig. Aber warum so zaghaft? Dass Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel sich den Fragen der Zuschauer stellt, ist erfreulich. Dass sie dabei gleich zwei Moderatoren als Geburtshelfer an ihrer Seite hat, macht das Verfahren am nächsten Sonntag im Vergleich zum Original im Weißen Haus zu einer Zangengeburt.

Die Gründe dafür liegen auf der Hand. Frau Merkel bleibt ihrem Grundsatz treu und geht gefiltert auf Nummer sicher. Schade, dass Spiegel-TV und RTL nicht einmal das technische Verfahren des Weißen Hauses adaptieren, alle Fragen online stellen und ihre Relevanz bewerten lassen.

Die elektronische Demokratie wird unterdessen im Weißen Haus weiterentwickelt. Der Office of Public Liaison heißt jetzt Office of Public Engagement. Hier findet man die finale Fassung des in der Transition gesammelten Briefing-Books, in dem amerikanische Bürger ihre Vorschläge zur Agenda der Obama-Regierung gemacht und bewertet haben.

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Küss die Erde

9. Mai 2009

In ihrem heutigen Video-Podcast freut sich Bundeskanzlerin Merkel wieder auf Besuch. Die kleine Ansprache, in der sie das mitteilt, ist in mehrfacher Hinsicht erstaunlich. Angela Merkel freut sich auf eine Zeremonie, in welcher sie am kommenden Dienstag sechzehn Neubürgern der Bundesrepublik Deutschland die Einbürgerungsurkunde überreicht. Der Text ihrer Ansprache ist erstaunlich, weil sie so unprätentiös und nett ist. Wiederholtes Lesen, Anschauen, Hinhören fördert subtile Aspekte zu Tage.

Später erzählte K., wie ein Wiener Komiker, in New York ankommend, vor den Pressefotografen die Erde küsst. Das dürfe einen nicht stören, sagt K., es bedeute nur: "Küss die Erde!"*

Frau Merkel heißt ihre Gäste vorab willkommen, wünscht sich, dass mehr Menschen ihrem Beispiel folgen. "Dazu gehört natürlich auch die Kenntnis der deutschen Sprache. Sie ist das eigentliche Tor, um wirklich hier in diesem Lande auch mit gleichen Chancen aufzuwachsen und die Möglichkeiten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – bei der beruflichen und privaten Entwicklung – wirklich auch voll ausschöpfen zu können."  Wer wollte das bestreiten? Aber was halten wir von einem Tor, einem eigentlichen Tor, das im Bau dieses Satzes ohne die Eigentlichkeit des Hindurchs auskommen muss, nämlich dass jemand reinkommt oder rausgeht? Das ist ein Tor, das wie das berühmte Grinsen ohne Katze in der Luft hängt, ein Tor, wie es von Franz Kafka hätte erfunden sein können, ein Tor, vor dem man sich einrichten kann ohne jeden Gedanken daran, dass es sich eines Tages –  zu welchem Zweck auch immer – öffnen werde. Macht nicht hoch die Tür, die Tor macht nicht weit …

"Aber es gibt auch ein Interesse der Bundesrepublik Deutschland daran, dass sich möglichst viele Migrantinnen und Migranten für eine Einbürgerung entschließen. Wir wissen seit Jahrzehnten, sogar seit Jahrhunderten, dass die Zuwanderung immer auch eine Bereicherung für unser Land war. Denken wir zum Beispiel nur an die Hugenotten oder aber an die Entwicklung des Ruhrgebiets in den Zeiten der Industriegesellschaft."

Über dieses Thema gibt es ein kluges Buch von Daniel Cohn-Bendit und Thomas Schmid, vor 19 Jahren erschienen. Warum erwähnt Frau Merkel die Hugenotten, lässt aber im Ungefähren, dass viele …inskys und …anskys maßgeblichen Anteil an der Entwicklung des Ruhrgebietes hatten? Dass die aus Polen kamen, wird die von der taz boshaft als Kartoffeln bezeichneten Zwillinge nicht auf die Palme bringen. Aufregender ist die unbestimmte Zeitangabe am Ende dieses Absatzes - "in den Zeiten der Industriegesellschaft". Gestern plädierte ich dafür, das feine Hören wieder scharf zu stellen. Schon ist es wieder so weit. Wenn wir die Zeitangabe in die Gegenwart verlängern, wofür es immer noch gute Gründe gibt, dann scheint Frau Merkel den Opel-Standort Bochum abzuschreiben, noch bevor welcher Opel-Deal auch immer zustande gekommen ist.

"Deshalb haben wir in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland durch unsere Integrationspolitik ein Klima geschaffen, in dem wir sagen: Integration, das bedeutet das Aufeinanderzugehen von denen, die zu uns gekommen sind, genauso wie von denen, die schon lange hier in Deutschland leben."

Die Atomphysikerin, eine Meisterin der Präzision, wie sie ihr Fach gebietet, liebt sprachliche Unschärfen wie Siebecks Katze die Gourmandise ihres Herrchens. Wodurch unterscheiden sich die, die zu uns gekommen sind (lassen wir offen, wer wir sind), von denen, die schon lange hier in Deutschland leben? Das ort- wie subjektlos aparte Aufeinanderzugehen wirkt wie das im Leeren schwingende Tor, eine Bewegung, der die aufeinander Zugehenden wie durch einen Copperfieldschen Zaubertrick abhanden kommen.

In einer Zeitung las ich die headline: "Berlin hamburged!" (…)  Es gibt hier zahllose bekannte Leute, die ich schon in Berlin nicht kannte. (…) Auch das "Star spangled banner" lernten wir, die amerikanische Hymne, ja, wir sangen sie zweistimmig in unserem Zimmer. Bei der Bürgerprüfung, hieß es, werde das verlangt. (…) Mein persönlicher Bedarf an historischen Ereignissen ist nun völlig gedeckt.*

Die Rede von Angela Merkel ist ein erfreuliches Zeichen, trotz oder vielleicht auch wegen ihrer Springprozession.

* Zitate aus dem Programmheft der Berliner Festwochenproduktion LOST IN THE STARS AND STRIPES vom September 1987

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